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ECHL: Please Expand and Stop Making Me Nuts

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Old
02-21-2011, 10:26 AM
  #51
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Originally Posted by jackalsfan1 View Post
Isn't the SPHL made up of quite a few markets who couldn't hack it in the ECHL?
Yes and no. In some of the markets, blaming the market itself is just idiotic. There are way to many factors with any team to just pinpoint the market itself as the reason a team works or doesn't work.

Augusta: the Lynx didn't fail because of the market, they were owned by a car dealer who was hit hard by the recession.

Columbus: the owners wanted to move the franchise to Bradenton, FL but still have a team in Columbus so they just dropped down to the SPHL.

Louisiana: Falling attendance even when they had coach Farrish and then replace Farrish with Todd Gordon and the attendance continued to drop.

Mississippi: they became an island in the ECHL with Pensacola, Louisiana, Mobile, Texas, Jackson, etc. all gone. The closest team was Gwinnett.

Pensacola: a combination of both but the community deserting the team was due to the owner purposefully putting together a crappy project to kill attendance so he could more easily move the franchise.

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02-21-2011, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by The Panda Bolt View Post
Yes and no. In some of the markets, blaming the market itself is just idiotic. There are way to many factors with any team to just pinpoint the market itself as the reason a team works or doesn't work.

Augusta: the Lynx didn't fail because of the market, they were owned by a car dealer who was hit hard by the recession.

Columbus: the owners wanted to move the franchise to Bradenton, FL but still have a team in Columbus so they just dropped down to the SPHL.

Louisiana: Falling attendance even when they had coach Farrish and then replace Farrish with Todd Gordon and the attendance continued to drop.

Mississippi: they became an island in the ECHL with Pensacola, Louisiana, Mobile, Texas, Jackson, etc. all gone. The closest team was Gwinnett.

Pensacola: a combination of both but the community deserting the team was due to the owner purposefully putting together a crappy project to kill attendance so he could more easily move the franchise.
Speaking of Augusta, whats the deal now? I heard attendance was not doing so well and that the GM was fired because they didn't sell out opening night.

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02-21-2011, 08:07 PM
  #53
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Last team folded mid season coupled with a league the local fan base isn't familiar with leads to timid fans. As far as anything else, I don't know. I haven't been able to travel to any away games so I couldn't tell you about and marketing or lack there of.

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02-28-2011, 10:52 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
Penticton, my old hometown, probably could have a WHL team, but I don't think the town could support a ECHL team. Despite having just built the most beautiful Jr.A rink in Canada, IMO.

I forgot about Tacoma. I wonder how the hockey scene is there now? I remember when the Rockets moved to Kelowna. But I have heard that the Tacoma Dome is not a good venue for hockey with poor site lines.
Penticton will likely never see a WHL team as long as the Rockets are in Kelowna. Personally, Jr. A is the best fit for that city, and given the history, I doubt many would like to see it leave.

As for Tacoma, the Sea-Tac area is pretty much covered for hockey. The Seattle Thunderbirds moved south to Kent, WA (19 miles from Tacoma) a couple years ago, and have the Everett Silvertips north of the city. I dont see a minor-pro team working down there, due to the presence of the WHL in the region.

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02-28-2011, 03:32 PM
  #55
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Well, Chilliwack (WHL) & Abbotsford (AHL) are seeming to work despite being neighbours.

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02-28-2011, 04:47 PM
  #56
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Not so much. Abbotsford is only averaging 3,655 and I'm starting to hear rumors of the Flames moving their affiliation somewhere else.

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02-28-2011, 04:57 PM
  #57
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Abbotsford's locked in to a 10 year contract, Panda, it would not be smart to break it now after building up to acquire the franchise which has relocated 4 times due to either competition or finances........

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02-28-2011, 09:30 PM
  #58
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After I posted, I thought I remembered them having a long term lease but I wasn't sure.

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03-01-2011, 06:33 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Rocko604 View Post
Penticton will likely never see a WHL team as long as the Rockets are in Kelowna. Personally, Jr. A is the best fit for that city, and given the history, I doubt many would like to see it leave.

As for Tacoma, the Sea-Tac area is pretty much covered for hockey. The Seattle Thunderbirds moved south to Kent, WA (19 miles from Tacoma) a couple years ago, and have the Everett Silvertips north of the city. I dont see a minor-pro team working down there, due to the presence of the WHL in the region.

I don't know about that, I think Penticton could support a WHL team easily and I am not clear on the WHL's territory rights, if there are any. The rink is perfect size and the fans love junior hockey there. Worked out well when Kelowna had the Spartans Jr.A team. The rivalry was great between the Panthers and the Spartans. Between Osoyoos to Penticton area, there are enough hockey fans to fill the rink on a steady basis.

But yes, with the history of the Jr.A franchise in Penticton (Brett Hull, Andy Moog, Duncan Keith, Chuck Kobasew, Paul Kariya, etc etc) I think there would be a majority not willing to part with the loved BCHL.

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03-01-2011, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by nosl View Post
Well, Chilliwack (WHL) & Abbotsford (AHL) are seeming to work despite being neighbours.
This is true, but you're comparing hockey-mad Metro Vancouver to NBA-starved Seattle-Tacoma. As already mentioned, though, The Heat aren't doing as well in ticket sales as they might have been hoping for, plus the city has to cover all of the teams financial losses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billycanuck View Post
I don't know about that, I think Penticton could support a WHL team easily and I am not clear on the WHL's territory rights, if there are any. The rink is perfect size and the fans love junior hockey there. Worked out well when Kelowna had the Spartans Jr.A team. The rivalry was great between the Panthers and the Spartans. Between Osoyoos to Penticton area, there are enough hockey fans to fill the rink on a steady basis.

But yes, with the history of the Jr.A franchise in Penticton (Brett Hull, Andy Moog, Duncan Keith, Chuck Kobasew, Paul Kariya, etc etc) I think there would be a majority not willing to part with the loved BCHL.
I really can't argue with your reasons why a WHL team would work, because they are good ones. I still think Bruce Hamilton, owner of the Rockets, would put up a stink.

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03-01-2011, 07:57 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by The Panda Bolt View Post
Not so much. Abbotsford is only averaging 3,655 and I'm starting to hear rumors of the Flames moving their affiliation somewhere else.
Actually, the Flames would be stupid to end their agreement with the local management teams -- I didn't know this until recently, but the 10-year lease with the arena has the city on the hook to make up ANY deficit in the team's budget, up to a $5.8 million annual budget. For their first season, the city had to pay them nearly a half-million dollars, and it's unclear what that amount will be for this season.

I'm still trying to find out if the city has any "outs" before the 10 years is up, because this is CLEARLY a raw deal for them, and many "10-year contract" announcements end up being, in actuality, something like "four years, with two separate three-year options that may be exercised by the city" or something like that.

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03-01-2011, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by HansH View Post
Actually, the Flames would be stupid to end their agreement with the local management teams -- I didn't know this until recently, but the 10-year lease with the arena has the city on the hook to make up ANY deficit in the team's budget, up to a $5.8 million annual budget. For their first season, the city had to pay them nearly a half-million dollars, and it's unclear what that amount will be for this season.

I'm still trying to find out if the city has any "outs" before the 10 years is up, because this is CLEARLY a raw deal for them, and many "10-year contract" announcements end up being, in actuality, something like "four years, with two separate three-year options that may be exercised by the city" or something like that.
Well, the city really has no one to blame but themselves since it was made clear that fans weren't too keen on coming out to see the Calgary Flames' farm team. I'm sorry, but when you have over 700,000 people all within a 45 minute drive of your arena, and you're only averaging 3300, with tickets at a great price for pro hockey (compared to the Canucks), it can't simply be blamed on the level of play. It's really no coincidence that their only sellouts are when the Manitoba Moose come to town. If you were to put Moose in Abbotsford, the city wouldn't have to pay a dime.

But you're right, the Flames have it GOOD. They're not losing a single dime, no matter how bad the attendance gets.


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03-28-2011, 08:34 PM
  #63
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They need more Southern teams. I know the game was not popular in some of the cities, but some of the teams are dying off because of that.

Even the Stingrays are losing attendance because they're not even the biggest priority in their own arena, and because the rivalries they have aren't very good.

Jacksonville should have another team. Newer arena, needs dates.

Savannah could too. They already host the Thrasher Cup (Georgia and Georgia Tech with two other teams), and draw good crowds (including 5,500 a couple years ago for UGA/GT).

You'd have to renovate the arena, but that would be a great rivalry with the Stingrays and Jacksonville, and there's no local college/pro sports opposition other than Savannah State and the SandGnats baseball in the spring.

Some pics of their arena:

http://www.savannahhockeyclassic.com/gallery

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03-28-2011, 10:27 PM
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They need more Southern teams. I know the game was not popular in some of the cities, but some of the teams are dying off because of that.

Even the Stingrays are losing attendance because they're not even the biggest priority in their own arena, and because the rivalries they have aren't very good.

Jacksonville should have another team. Newer arena, needs dates.

Savannah could too. They already host the Thrasher Cup (Georgia and Georgia Tech with two other teams), and draw good crowds (including 5,500 a couple years ago for UGA/GT).

You'd have to renovate the arena, but that would be a great rivalry with the Stingrays and Jacksonville, and there's no local college/pro sports opposition other than Savannah State and the SandGnats baseball in the spring.

Some pics of their arena:

http://www.savannahhockeyclassic.com/gallery
The problem for me is, you look at an arena like Gwinnett, they could easily be an AHL team in my book. What about Florida?(become the Panthers affiliate) I have heard some banter recently of Charlotte potentially getting an NHL team. Stick the Gladiators with the Thrashers, Blades with the Panthers and the Stingrays with the Charlotte team, but I guess that leaves out Greenville.

The league has NO real rivalry in my book anymore, with all the roster turnover and that. The guys don't care about the crest on the front anymore.

Savannah although a nice old town...isn't it a college town for the most part? I have never been but i've heard it's an AWESOME place to visit. Nice looking arena though. I wouldn't be opposed to it. Do you think they have the fanbase though?


-Kinda derailing the topic here but has anybody heard anything about potential new teams or of teams leaving the league?(besides Victoria)

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03-29-2011, 02:17 AM
  #65
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Originally Posted by sctvman View Post
They need more Southern teams. I know the game was not popular in some of the cities, but some of the teams are dying off because of that.

Even the Stingrays are losing attendance because they're not even the biggest priority in their own arena, and because the rivalries they have aren't very good.

Jacksonville should have another team. Newer arena, needs dates.

Savannah could too. They already host the Thrasher Cup (Georgia and Georgia Tech with two other teams), and draw good crowds (including 5,500 a couple years ago for UGA/GT).

You'd have to renovate the arena, but that would be a great rivalry with the Stingrays and Jacksonville, and there's no local college/pro sports opposition other than Savannah State and the SandGnats baseball in the spring.

Some pics of their arena:

http://www.savannahhockeyclassic.com/gallery
Jacksonville, newish arena, needs to fill dates. Sounds logical until you realize its run by SMG. It had hockey, SMG tried to charge them so much for rent that not even an ECHL team would pay it.

Also the arena is set now for sports related dates hosting the ABA (surprised me this sham of a league is still in existence) Jacksonville Giants (however long they last) and Jacksonville University's men's basketball team, and the AFL's Jacksonville Sharks.

As for Savannah it always amazes me that people just assume that all or most of the tickets sold for the SHC go to local residents. The majority of the tickets go to the fans of the team participating in the event. You can't expect crowds like that unless the team markets the HELL out of the team and makes deep inroads in the community early. Also for their arena to meet ECHL standards, it would need such a large amount renovations that it wouldn't be worth it. It opened in 74 and, as far as I know, hasn't had a major upgrade since. Also the sight lines aren't ideal for hockey, which is okay for 5 games in 3 days but not ideal when you might be hosting 28+ games a year.

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03-29-2011, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackalsfan1 View Post
The problem for me is, you look at an arena like Gwinnett, they could easily be an AHL team in my book. What about Florida?(become the Panthers affiliate) I have heard some banter recently of Charlotte potentially getting an NHL team. Stick the Gladiators with the Thrashers, Blades with the Panthers and the Stingrays with the Charlotte team, but I guess that leaves out Greenville.

The league has NO real rivalry in my book anymore, with all the roster turnover and that. The guys don't care about the crest on the front anymore.

Savannah although a nice old town...isn't it a college town for the most part? I have never been but i've heard it's an AWESOME place to visit. Nice looking arena though. I wouldn't be opposed to it. Do you think they have the fanbase though?


-Kinda derailing the topic here but has anybody heard anything about potential new teams or of teams leaving the league?(besides Victoria)

Carolina has the interest in Charlotte, being a)in-state and b) the Hurricanes have had a vested interest w/ the Everblades as well.....you don't spring for releasing a successful franchise like the Checkers were in the ECHL FOR THEIR OWNERSHIP TO buy an existing AHL Franchise license as they did w/ CDS.... IF Carolina hadn't been the parent club of the then Albany franchise, wouldn't the Checkers have simply stayed in the ECHL....

Hasn't the Florida Panthers track record of affiliates taught you something, Jackalsfan1.... All hockey fans gave them a break w/ the Afr scenario blew up (isn't that still who owns Elmira to this day) WHICH IS WHY that family is barred from ever being associated w/ a higher level of league; San Antonio and now Rochester potentially either asked out or are in the process of leaving...

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03-29-2011, 06:20 PM
  #67
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In the case of Abbotsford-Chilliwack, it seems that the Bruins are looking hard at Victoria right now.

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03-29-2011, 07:44 PM
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Carolina has the interest in Charlotte, being a)in-state and b) the Hurricanes have had a vested interest w/ the Everblades as well.....you don't spring for releasing a successful franchise like the Checkers were in the ECHL FOR THEIR OWNERSHIP TO buy an existing AHL Franchise license as they did w/ CDS.... IF Carolina hadn't been the parent club of the then Albany franchise, wouldn't the Checkers have simply stayed in the ECHL....

Hasn't the Florida Panthers track record of affiliates taught you something, Jackalsfan1.... All hockey fans gave them a break w/ the Afr scenario blew up (isn't that still who owns Elmira to this day) WHICH IS WHY that family is barred from ever being associated w/ a higher level of league; San Antonio and now Rochester potentially either asked out or are in the process of leaving...
I honestly will admit I don't understand the gripe. The AHL is what it is now. Florida isn't the only team who treats their affiliate like crap. An article in Worcester awhile back came out about how San Jose doesn't care that Worcester has an empty arena and all of that. The NHL teams owning the AHL teams and dictating it all is becoming the norm. I like the Americans but the gripe is pointless. Florida has the right to do what they wanna do with their AHL team(even if they don't own them they can control who the Amerks sign and if they wanna send them players and such.)

I'll admit to not knowing anything about that situation, but from what i've been told is everyother franchise Afr has owned has gone bankrupt. FTR i'm not even close to a fan of the man but it is what it is, we have a team and i'll take that. Rochester didn't even ask out, they demanded VERY EARLY in the season that they were gone. Thats all fine and dandy but someone will get Florida just by league design. Again, I don't have a hatred for what the Panthers do, it's what the AHL has become, some AHL fans are better used to it than others. WBS hasn't had a problem with Pitt dictating them all this time. Then you get a team like Rochester who thinks they deserve special treatment and are bigger and better than the league.

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03-29-2011, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackalsfan1 View Post
I honestly will admit I don't understand the gripe. The AHL is what it is now. Florida isn't the only team who treats their affiliate like crap. An article in Worcester awhile back came out about how San Jose doesn't care that Worcester has an empty arena and all of that. The NHL teams owning the AHL teams and dictating it all is becoming the norm. I like the Americans but the gripe is pointless. Florida has the right to do what they wanna do with their AHL team(even if they don't own them they can control who the Amerks sign and if they wanna send them players and such.)

I'll admit to not knowing anything about that situation, but from what i've been told is everyother franchise Afr has owned has gone bankrupt. FTR i'm not even close to a fan of the man but it is what it is, we have a team and i'll take that. Rochester didn't even ask out, they demanded VERY EARLY in the season that they were gone. Thats all fine and dandy but someone will get Florida just by league design. Again, I don't have a hatred for what the Panthers do, it's what the AHL has become, some AHL fans are better used to it than others. WBS hasn't had a problem with Pitt dictating them all this time. Then you get a team like Rochester who thinks they deserve special treatment and are bigger and better than the league.
San Jose has a different philosophy than most teams.... Worcester had been shafted pretty much since the Blues arrived there halfway through the Ice Cats inaugural season, jackalsfan1, and isn't it Rochester that's telling potential suitors that it wants better partnership or whatever

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03-30-2011, 07:37 PM
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Yeah, the Charlotte Checkers will have a great relationship with the Hurricanes in Charlotte. That is a very good move they made last year.

I don't know why they couldn't move the Checkers ECHL team to another city. There's several Southern cities that should have a team. Knoxville should. They would be a good fit for Gwinnett, Greenville and others.

You could have also moved the team to a Northern city. Richmond? Somewhere else?

Instead, you have a three team division.

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03-31-2011, 07:42 AM
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Yeah, the Charlotte Checkers will have a great relationship with the Hurricanes in Charlotte. That is a very good move they made last year.

I don't know why they couldn't move the Checkers ECHL team to another city. There's several Southern cities that should have a team. Knoxville should. They would be a good fit for Gwinnett, Greenville and others.

You could have also moved the team to a Northern city. Richmond? Somewhere else?

Instead, you have a three team division.
I was all for the league ditching Divisions and just having Conferences. Division titles at this level mean next to nothing(hence not often do you see Division title banners) besides, the Western Conference has ve.y little need for Divisions as of right now,

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03-31-2011, 08:16 AM
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Yeah, the Charlotte Checkers will have a great relationship with the Hurricanes in Charlotte. That is a very good move they made last year.

I don't know why they couldn't move the Checkers ECHL team to another city. There's several Southern cities that should have a team. Knoxville should. They would be a good fit for Gwinnett, Greenville and others.

You could have also moved the team to a Northern city. Richmond? Somewhere else?

Instead, you have a three team division.
You don't know why? How about because there were no local ownership groups that wanted to purchase and operate an ECHL franchise? The league cannot force someone to buy and operate and franchise if they don't want one.

Why should Knoxville have an ECHL franchise? They draw 3400 fans in the SPHL which would put them towards the bottom of the ECHL.

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03-31-2011, 03:41 PM
  #73
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Originally Posted by sctvman View Post
Yeah, the Charlotte Checkers will have a great relationship with the Hurricanes in Charlotte. That is a very good move they made last year.

I don't know why they couldn't move the Checkers ECHL team to another city. There's several Southern cities that should have a team. Knoxville should. They would be a good fit for Gwinnett, Greenville and others.

You could have also moved the team to a Northern city. Richmond? Somewhere else?

Instead, you have a three team division.
You want to know why? Three words: global economic crisis. There was no one with the money and desire to operate an ECHL somewhere else. There may have been the money or the desire, but not together.

Maybe my math is off but 1+1+1+1 ≠ 3. Gwinnett, Greenville, South Carolina, Florida.

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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
You don't know why? How about because there were no local ownership groups that wanted to purchase and operate an ECHL franchise? The league cannot force someone to buy and operate and franchise if they don't want one.

Why should Knoxville have an ECHL franchise? They draw 3400 fans in the SPHL which would put them towards the bottom of the ECHL.
True. The owners want to draw a number that puts them among the league leaders in a league with lower expenses. Lower expenses could lead to greater revenue and maybe even a profit.

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03-31-2011, 10:45 PM
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This is who I want to see return.

[IMG]http://www.****************/images/logos/14/1882/full/8grg3zbpu691mpv38q2n.gif[/IMG]

And though it probably won't happen, I'd love it if the ECHL Checkers would revive and play in Greensboro. Man I miss the days when it seemed like every southern city with at least 90,000 had a hockey team of some kind.

Quote:
I have heard some banter recently of Charlotte potentially getting an NHL team
I haven't heard this at all but it won't happen anyways. The TWCA wasn't built with NHL in mind.

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04-01-2011, 01:38 AM
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Regarding any city getting a NHL team....

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a recent interview stated that a city needs two things:

First, a NHL-caliber arena (or firm plans to build one, like $$ committed, shovel in the ground). (Winnipeg's MTS Center, with 15k is considered viable -- for that location. Most other locations would probably require 18k+ capacity.)

Second, an interested (and wealthy) owner.

Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly have stated on a number of occasions they meet with dozens of interested groups every year.

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